Five Reasons Why the A38 Expansion is Still Unlawful

An update from The Stop the A38 Expansion Campaign group

We have been busy preparing for another legal challenge to stop this polluting, destructive and unnecessary road scheme. Our lawyers sent the pre-action protocol letter outlining five grounds for a legal challenge which the Secretary of State has 12 days to respond to.

Although there are many negative impacts from the A38 Derby Junctions scheme and how it was rushed through a second time, these are the grounds the lawyers identified for judicial review:

  • Ground 1: Unlawful approach to the Environmental Targets (Fine Particulate Matter) (England) Regulations 2023
  • Ground 2: Failure to provide an up-to-date, reasoned conclusion regarding impact on Carbon budgets and the Paris Agreement
  • Failure to provide an up-to-date, reasoned conclusion regarding significant environmental effects
  • Ground 4: Unlawful failure to assess cumulative effects
  • Unlawful approach to economic assessment

There may be another ground on human rights. If you have been impacted by a compulsory purchase order from this scheme, please email

We expect the Government to remain determined to destroy the environment to enable their party donors and lobbyist friends in business to profit from a “minimum of 11,000 developments” from the extra road capacity. Recently the Government scrapped water quality regulations to allow developers to build on more profitable sites. Just another example of how little respect ministers have for our natural world and how corrupt the Government is when it comes to the business interests of a wealthy minority.

We’re not opposed to house building but they should be affordable, in the right places and minimise environmental impacts.

So the next stage is to file court papers and prepare for trial. For this we need to raise another £12,000 by the 1st October. Thank you so much to everyone who has shared and donated to the legal challenge fundraiser so far. Please continue to share and donate if you can.

Watch and share this short film about the A38 expansion with a link to the legal challenge fundraiser:


Contact your political representatives

Breadsall Parish Council recently sent us a letter of support, expressing that they also oppose the A38 Derby Junctions scheme. This is great news and we hope that Derby City Council will also oppose the scheme, especially as the Conservative cabinet has now been replaced with a Labour one.

If you’re a Derby resident, you can help. Several Councillors already agree with us but we need to increase that number if the Council will officially oppose the A38 scheme. Although the Council can’t stop it, their opposition would weigh against it and we need the Council to implement more sustainable transport options to reduce congestion and require housing developers to build in places closer to amenities with better transport links so developments don’t increase road congestion.

1: Find and contact your councillors:

Tell them your concerns about the A38 expansion, that you support the 2nd legal challenge and your reasons for supporting the campaign to stop it. If they support our campaign ask them if they will talk with other councillors about it too.

Please write it in your own words for more impact but here are some talking points.

  • Destruction of thousands of mature trees and wildlife habitats;
  • Loss of public space, especially in Markeaton and Mackworth park.
  • Massive carbon emissions during several years of construction and from the resulting increased traffic (it will not reduce carbon emissions by speeding up traffic flow as many claim. The National Highways planning documents state an increase and the DCO decision letter admits it will increase emissions.)
  • Health impacts in the city due to increased pollution, especially during construction;
  • Significant traffic disruption within much of the city during several years of construction and no proper traffic mitigation plans;
  • Routes for walking and cycling to and from Markeaton Park made much worse during construction and after completion;
  • Those who want this scheme argue that it will improve journey times and improve the flow of traffic, but this will not last long with the minimum of 11,000 new developments around the A38 Derby junctions area. The Secretary of State’s Decision Letter on the A38 stated this number. Induced traffic is a well documented result of building and expanding new roads.
  • Increased traffic will add to the already-congested M1/A38 junction (M1’s junction 28)
  • Severe impacts on moving around the area by any method for nearby residents, during, and after, construction, and noise pollution too;
  • There is no need for this at all as the A50 provides an adequate link north/south, further away from the city.

Our legal challenge page has information about the scheme with links to references:

2: Ask a question at a full Council meeting.

The next full Council meeting is on Wed 20 Sept. Submit up to 2 questions by noon on Tues 12 Sept to

If you attend the meeting, you can then also ask a verbal supplementary question to be answered verbally at the meeting.

It would be amazing to have a significant number of people asking a question about what the Council’s response will be to this second attempt by National Highways to destroy a large part of Derby’s environment!

The questions, if regarded as too similar, may be handled with one written answer but all those asking questions get the opportunity to have their say verbally, as long as it can be worded as an additional question, and the more people who ask these questions the less they can be ignored!

3 Contact the parliamentary candidates for Derby North and Derby South – for Labour that is Catherine Atkinson for Derby North. (Baggy Shanker is Labour’s candidate for Derby South but also a councillor for Sinfin and the Leader of the Council).

If you live in another Council borough impacted by the A38 expansion, please contact your Councillors too. Most of the Stop the A38 campaign group are Derby residents but we are keen to talk with and collaborate with people in other areas impacted.

Please contact if you find any political representatives who also want to stop the A38 expansion.

Many thanks for your support,

The Stop the A38 Expansion Campaign group